The Hill's Vicki Needham reports on the big story of the day.
The unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent in September to 7.8 percent, providing welcome news for President Obama just a month before Election Day.
The economy added only 114,00 jobs, yet the unemployment rate still dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.
The report revised figures up in July and August, and it showed more people are now entering the workforce. This is also the first report to be released since the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced it had undercounted employment for the previous year by 386,000.
.... "This is a really big report. This is a big report," said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics. He noted average weekly hours worked were also higher according to the report.
There are the economic realities of this and the political realities of this, and of course, both share the same facts but veer in different directions.
Economic realities: These numbers are going in the right direction, but not impressively (114K is near expectations, but not anywhere near the 200-250K it needs to be).
As former Obama economist, Austan Goolsbee, told CNBC this morning:
"We're making slow progress, but it's got to be faster."
The political reality, though, (as so often) is different, and does two things.
1. It shifts attention from Obama's bad debate onto an unemployment rate that's dropped. That's a win. The question is: how long will the positive, political buzz last? At the very least, the Left can now abandon Big Bird and Jim Lehrer as its talking points, post-debate, and turn it into something more substantive.
2. Romney can't use "8% unemployment" as an attack anymore.
The question there -- does that number loom large in voters' minds or is it just academic?